Green Carpet Awards

April 5, 2012
By Jenny Li Fowler

Kermit the Frog has nothing on Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) when it comes to being green. Several members of the HKS community are being honored at this year’s Green Carpet Awards.

The annual event celebrates staff, faculty and students who have made significant contributions to on-campus sustainability initiatives, including greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The winners are chosen based on leadership, creativity, innovation, their ability to influence many people and the duplicability of their efforts.

Lester Brown MPA 1962 will be honored with the Harvard Office for Sustainability’s first ever Distinguished Service Award. Brown founded the Earth Policy Institute in 2001 to work toward an environmentally sustainable economy. Described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers,” Brown has been a prominent voice in interdisciplinary approaches to global-scale resource issues. He addresses political and natural tipping points in his most recent book, “World on the Edge.”

A Student Award goes to Illac Diaz MPA/Mason Fellow 2012. Diaz is the founder and executive director of MyShelter Foundation. MyShelter is aiming to shed light on one million homes in the Philippines by 2012 through Isang Litrong Liwanag (A Liter of Light), a sustainable lighting project which aims to bring the eco-friendly solar bottle light bulb to homes and communities around the world.

Dinali Abeysekera and Sharon Johnson are receiving staff awards at this year’s Green Carpet celebration.

Dinali Abeysekera, a Degree Programs staff assistant, is recognized for turning HKS Enrollment Services on to recycling and energy conservation. In addition to ordering “green” supplies for the office, she sends out recycling “fun facts” every Friday to everyone in the department. Abeysekera is also leading the office’s efforts to achieving the green office “Leaf One” status.

Sharon Johnson, senior manager for Executive Education, is acknowledged for inspiring her team to think creatively about waste and water reduction, and for incorporating sustainability into all of her work at the Kennedy School, including light switch signage, water reduction through towel and sheet programs, and other programs designed to reduce paper waste. Johnson is also cited for taking the time to communicate green efforts to the Executive Education program participants, encouraging them to get involved.

This University-wide event will be emceed by Pete Davis, the student behind the “Harvard Thinks Big series,” and will feature student videos. The 2012 Green Carpet Awards will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday April 12 in Sanders Theater.

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headshot of Lester Brown MPA 1962

Lester Brown MPA 1962, founder of the Earth Policy Institute

Photo Credit: Earth Policy Institute

picture of Illac Diaz leaning against a wall built of mud and plastic bottles

Illac Diaz MPA/Mason Fellow 2012, founder and executive director of MyShelter Foundation